Once up a time in Washington...


Betsy's Page finds some valuable perspective in C—SPAN's re—running of Justice Scalia's confirmation hearings:

I happened to catch a short portion of Scalia's confirmation hearing from 1986 which was being rerun on C—Span 3. What a switch from how things are done this day. It was like a congenial men's club. Leahy was asking such softballs as what Scalia thought of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and whether it was a vaguely written law. Leahy asked him about recusing himself from an upcoming decision and Scalia said that he'd been thinking about that and asked Leahy what his advice was. Leahy stuttered and said that he was the one asking the questions and then he laughed and said that he didn't think President Reagan would be nominating him. Ain't that the truth?

Boy, things would certainly have been different today if Scalia had been nominated for the top position. No giggles with Leahy. And probably no pipe, either.

Scalia was so relaxed that he was leaning back in his chair and lighting up his pipe. His pipe! Didn't they have No Smoking regulations in the Senate hearing rooms in 1986?

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